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Is Your MFP or Copier Secure
Wednesday, 18 August 2010 15:15
The increasing affordability of large amounts of digital space has meant that much of our information has become ever more vulnerable in recent years. It seems that almost every week, there’s another news item about citizens’, patients’ or consumers’ data having been lost, misplaced or somehow gone astray. Twenty years ago, it would have required hulking great servers to carry 1 gigabyte of data. Today, that sort of storage potential is on offer to anyone with a trouser pocket and just a few pounds. In fact, many organisations give away terabytes of space to potential new customers and acquaintances as they used to dish out company biros. Instead of chewing the end of your embossed pen, you may well discover a much less comfortable freebie hanging on the edge of your lip, a stubby USB stick with room on-board for the entire medical records of a UK county. It’s obvious that the huge strides forward in digital technology carry with them equally huge risks. Data is increasingly exposed and more and more of it is turning up in the wrong places. Companies and public bodies are now frequently landed with debilitating law suits and many are left reeling with both reputations and bank balances in tatters.
In the sanctuary of the office, it’s understandable that many organisations overlook the security risks posed by the seemingly humble photocopier. Perhaps, unconsciously recalling the analogue origins of reprographic technology, many individuals fail to recognise the technological processes taking place before them. ‘When I send a print job to an MFP or copier, it prints that job and that’s that. No security risk, just a very straightforward task performed in the simplest of ways.’ Well, like the larger USB sticks, today’s MFP’s come equipped with vast amounts of storage space. This isn’t gratuitous over-technologization of the office – the growing importance of network printing and the increasing burdens that are placed on ever-more capable machines, means larger hard disks are in fact required to handle more print jobs and store temporary information.
In order to keep its customers protected, reprographics technology manufacturer, Canon, has been at the forefront in developing the highest standards of protection for its imageRUNNER MFP’s. In the past, this has ranged from non-standard operating systems running on its devices and the use of proprietary image compression formats to unique disk systems for non-contagious file storage. But for those that require the highest levels of protection, Canon has developed a truly formidable package of what it deceptively simply calls ‘Hard Disk Drive Security Options’. Understanding the very strict standards of security that are becoming increasingly normative within the corporate world and the very stringent privacy and auditing regulations of the public sector, Canon’s two optional feature packages deliver the very highest levels of data protection. Introducing HDD Data Encryption and HDD Data Erase….
HDD Data Encryption
Utilizing the most advanced encryption algorithms, HDD Data Encryption is designed to protect all of a device’s temporary data as well as the documents that have been stored onto it. Canon’s HDD Data Encryption system is recognised by the US governmental body, The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as well as the renowned National Security Agency (NSA) as providing a strong level of security.
HDD Data Encryption Technology
The principle is simple enough. Canon’s HDD Data Encryption Security Option provides a dedicated plug-in board which encrypts each byte of data before it’s committed to the hard disk drive. This is done using a 256 bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) or 168 bit Triple Data Encryption Algorithm (TDEA) algorithm depending on the device model. The encryption kit uses an inaccessible secret key that’s stored on-board the plug-in to encrypt and decrypt all data that’s stored in random, non-continuous sections of the disk drive. This means that once the data’s written it’s virtually irretrievable to anyone seeking to recover it form within the drive or through external recovery applications.
MFP Security Chips
Each one of Canon’s HDD Data Encryption Security Kits comes equipped with a Canon MFP security chip 1.00. This chip has achieved a Common Criteria Certification of Evaluation Assurance Level 3 (EAL 3) for its proven effectiveness at preventing unauthorised access to data. Common Criteria have ascertained this through methodical testing procedures and a rigorous verification process. This high level of assurance which Common Criteria provides may assist companies and organisations with meeting their particular privacy goals.
Optional Data Erase Kits
Have you ever wondered why on your favourite TV police drama, some digital forensics officer will always be able to find information on a hard disk which the user had obviously thought he or she had erased entirely? Well, the truth is that when data is committed to a hard disk, the potential still exists for it to be retrieved even after the user has deleted it. And this is as true for copier or MFP hard disk drives as it is on more commonly found hard disk drives on your laptop or office PC. Sensitive data will remain on your device’s disk drive until it has been effectively overwritten. This is why Canon has developed the HDD Data Erase Function. By overwriting data with either null data, random data or random data three times, the Canon HDD Data Erase Function ensures that no traces of any temporary data or deleted documents on your device will remain accessible, giving you the ultimate peace of mind that when you delete with Canon, you delete permanently.
It’s clear to see that much like any other data-based technology, high performance office equipment is as vulnerable to security risks as any other laptop, server or USB stick. So it’s vitally important that as the technologies become more powerful, companies and organisations are prepared for the ever broader ramifications of security compromise. Canon’s advanced security technology, by understanding precise nature of the risks and doing the utmost to control and minimise these, provides organisations with the highest level of assurance, so that they’re able to make the most of imageRUNNER MFP technology, in all its technological glory.
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